Rio Rico Among Southern Arizona High Schools Going Forward With Football

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District superintendent David Verdugo indicated today that Rio Rico High School will be among the Southern Arizona teams that will partake in football starting Oct. 30.

“I presented the phased-in plan (for COVID-19 mitigation) to our board at the Sept. 8 board meeting,” Verdugo said. “We are in Phase 2 and will begin with helmets and pads this week. We also have a partnership with the Mariposa Health Center and our athletes get tested every other week.”

Rio Rico is slated to host Empire on Oct. 30 (Rio Rico photo)

Rio Rico is the fifth public school in Southern Arizona that as of now will start its season on Oct. 30.

The Vail School District (Cienega and Empire) and Sahuarita School District (Walden Grove and Sahuarita) are going forward with contact drills and competition in football beginning Oct. 30. Rio Rico is slated to host Empire on that date.

TUSD and the Amphi, Catalina Foothills, Sunnyside, Marana, Flowing Wells, Tanque Verde, Nogales and Douglas school districts have yet to announce a plan to go forward with physical contact and competition for football. Many sources have indicated most or all of those school districts will make a determination this week.

(Southern Arizona Football Graphic)

Buena, of the Sierra Vista School District, and private schools Pusch Ridge and Salpointe have already begun their seasons.

Verdugo added about Rio Rico’s mitigation efforts: “We are doing everything we can to be cautious and proactive with protocols, including testing so that they can have a season in all sports.”

Here are the proposed schedules for each Southern Arizona school starting Oct. 30 with notes (italicized schools have yet to announce they are going forward with contact drills and competition):

Oct. 30

  • Sahuarita at Amphi
  • Buena at Casa Grande
  • Cienega at CDO
  • Desert View at Nogales
  • Douglas at Walden Grove
  • Empire at Rio Rico
  • Mountain View at Flowing Wells
  • Sunnyside at Ironwood Ridge
  • Salpointe at Marana … Lancers QB Treyson Bourguet plays his former school.
  • Pusch Ridge at San Tan Foothills

Nov. 6

  • Amphi at Douglas
  • CDO at Desert View
  • Catalina Foothills at Ironwood Ridge
  • Palo Verde at Catalina
  • Cholla at Tucson … Virgil Henderson returns to Cholla sideline as coach
  • Nogales at Cienega
  • Empire at Pueblo … Jake Allen makes his debut as Pueblo’s coach
  • Flowing Wells at Sunnyside
  • Marana at Mountain View … The Battle of the Boot Rivalry
  • Rincon/University at Tanque Verde … The start of the Jay Dobyns era as head coach at Tanque Verde and Khyree Copeland at R/U
  • Rio Rico at Santa Rita
  • Sabino at Sahuarita
  • Sahuaro at Walden Grove
  • Mountain Ridge at Salpointe
  • ALA-Ironwood at Pusch Ridge

Nov. 13

  • Flowing Wells at Amphi
  • Cienega at Buena … Much-anticipated game of two local powers
  • Ironwood Ridge at CDO … Amphi School District rivals face off
  • Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills
  • Catalina at Rincon/University
  • Pueblo at Cholla
  • Desert View at Sunnyside … Duel of the District
  • Douglas at Rio Rico
  • Tanque Verde at Empire
  • Marana at Walden Grove
  • Salpointe at Mountain View
  • Nogales at Tucson
  • Santa Rita at Palo Verde
  • Sahuaro at Sabino … Intense eastside rivalry
  • Florence at Pusch Ridge

Nov. 20

  • Rincon/University at Amphi
  • CDO at Catalina Foothills
  • Tanque Verde at Catalina
  • Cholla at Santa Rita
  • Marana at Cienega
  • Ironwood Ridge at Desert View
  • Sahuarita at Douglas
  • Sabino at Empire
  • Palo Verde at Flowing Wells
  • Sahuaro at Mountain View
  • Rio Rico at Nogales … Rivalry near the border
  • Sunnyside at Tucson
  • Walden Grove at Pueblo
  • Salpointe at Desert Mountain

Nov. 27

  • Empire at Amphi
  • CDO at Marana
  • Cholla at Catalina Foothills
  • Catalina at Pueblo
  • Cienega at Sunnyside
  • Mountain View at Desert View
  • Douglas at Nogales
  • Rio Rico at Flowing Wells
  • Ironwood Ridge at Rincon/University
  • Palo Verde at Tanque Verde
  • Walden Grove at Sabino … WG’s strong defense vs. Sabino’s potent offense
  • Tucson at Sahuaro
  • Santa Rita at Sahuarita

Dec. 4

  • Amphi at Catalina
  • CDO at Sahuaro
  • Sabino at Catalina Foothills
  • Desert View at Cholla
  • Mountain View at Cienega
  • Empire at Douglas
  • Flowing Wells at Ironwood Ridge
  • Sunnyside at Marana
  • Nogales at Walden Grove
  • Pueblo at Palo Verde
  • Tucson at Rincon/University
  • Rio Rico at Sahuarita
  • Tanque Verde at Santa Rita

Dec. 10

  • Amphi at Rio Rico
  • Walden Grove at CDO
  • Catalina Foothills at Palo Verde
  • Santa Rita at Catalina
  • Ironwood Ridge at Cienega
  • Marana at Desert View
  • Sahuarita at Empire
  • Rincon/University at Flowing Wells
  • Tucson at Mountain View
  • Pueblo at Sabino
  • Sahuaro at Sunnyside


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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